When winter comes, it’s time to prepare your home and property for the colder temperatures. Even in the Pacific Northwest, there is always a threat that temps could drop below freezing.
If your landscaping is exposed to the cold, it could kill the plants that make your yard beautiful in the spring.
There is also potential damage to your home in the winter that weatherization can prevent.
Although the idea of completing all the weatherization steps might sound expensive, there are always ways to achieve this work on a budget. By giving your entire property more resilience before winter’s weather approaches, the efforts can usually save money on utility costs and repairs long-term.
List of the Best Ways to Weatherize a Property
We’ve seen the effects of climate change in recent years on the weather. The risks of flooding, drought, extreme heat, wildfires, and more can all jeopardize properties in any location.
Although fears in those areas are reasonably justified, we must also consider what a standard winter season does to a property.
Winter weather delivers some serious wear-and-tear issues that everyone must consider. When you follow these tips, it’ll be easier to stay warm and protect your landscaping assets.
1. Seal the drafts.
The easiest way to stop the cold air from coming through your doors and windows is to add weatherstripping where leaks occur. When a house isn’t properly sealed against the outside elements, it won’t be as effective at maintaining an appropriate indoor temperature. []
If you’re unsure of where drafts occur, try lighting a match by each door and window. You’ll see the smoke pulled out of the areas where a draft exists.
Different sweeps, tapes, and caulks can help you seal potential gaps. Another option is to purchase window films that stop the cold air from coming inside.
2. Review your attic and crawl space insulation.
Insulation makes a significant difference in your home’s temperature. When your house feels cold all the time, there could be an issue with this asset in your attic or crawl space. If you’re not sure of what to look for in this area, a contractor can deliver an estimate and fill in the extra spaces without much trouble.
Some utilities offer rebates for insulation upgrades, so it’s worth checking with the electric and natural gas providers in your area.
3. Think about your landscaping.
One of the best ways to prepare your property for the winter months is to plant more indigenous and native trees and shrubs. These species are the ones that are used to the climate and can withstand the different temperature changes that exist. []
In areas prone to intense winter storms, adding more native gardening options can prevent flooding and wind damage. A robust tree canopy can provide groundcover options, slowing the speed of the rain or protecting against heavy snows, allowing the moisture to evaporate before reaching the ground. []
It also helps to trim the plants that need to be cut back during the winter, clear weeds, and seed the lawn. If you have outdoor furniture, it should come inside for storage.
Before winter, the last days are also a great time to check trees for branches that could fall and damage your home during a storm. If you find any, have them removed. []
4. Review your plumbing and HVAC systems.
Outdoor plumbing should be one of your first inspections when winter is coming. You’ll need to winterize irrigation systems, blow out the sprinklers, and shut off the water supply to the hoses. Insulating these items can prevent them from freezing and bursting on cold days.
If you haven’t had your furnace inspected in the past year, the last weeks before winter are a great time to have this routine maintenance performed. For homes with baseboard registers, have them turned on and inspected to ensure they’ll function correctly.
5. Clean the gutters.
When your gutters are cleared of debris before winter, you’ll avoid having ice dams form that could damage your siding or roof. If enough rain or snow falls, the precipitation could even cause flooding problems in the home. Downspouts get blocked relatively quickly, so it helps to run high-pressure sprays through the drainage system to ensure it performs as expected. []
Additional steps, like hanging curtains over the windows, can help to keep the indoors comfortable throughout the winter. When you protect your landscaping as part of these steps, your home will be ready to shine when spring arrives.